Change of Address
Media Coverage & Links
Need to contact us? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
|*After a careful examination and background check of Collin records, theDepartment of the Army has approved the request of having the burial at
Arlington National Cemetery. Only "the best of the best" receive the honor
to have their final resting place in this place.Almost every year during Memorial Day, Collin and I would go to DC and make a special stop at Arlington National Cemetery. In more than one
occasion he mentioned to me how great it would be to be buried there.
So I jokingly replied, ok, if you happen to leave first, I'll make sure
that happens. Then he said, well it's not that easy, you have to be a
war hero to even be considered, so it's unlikely for that to happen. Who would have known that his wishes would come true much earlier than
anyone could have guessed.It's with great honor that I'm able to fulfill his wishes. However, nothing
is owed to me. It was Collin's outstanding achievements and meritorious
service that has allowed me to be just an intermediary to make sure his
wish comes true.I love you and forever will,Ursula Bowen
Thursday, March 20th
Tuesday, March 25th
Saint Mary's Catholic Church
7301 Annapolis Road
Landover Hills, MD 20784 (map)
1:00pm Interment, Arlington National Cemetery (Directions)
Everyone is welcomed to attend
No Flowers Please
|SFC Collin J Bowen
Collin has been promoted to Sergeant First Class
January 18, 1970 - March 14, 2008
14 years in the Service
Computer Science, UMBC 2005
Marion High School, 1988
Collin volunteered to go to Afghanistan on November 2006.
On January 2nd, 2008, about two weeks before coming back home, he was injured in action.
Can't see the newest update?
Hold the "Ctrl" key and at the same time press the "F5" key or the "refresh" icon on the web browser
You may have seen a reduction in the details of the updates. The purpose is to ensure Collin’s privacy and
to avoid disseminating inaccurate information.
The only information approved to be released and considered to be accurate is below.
10 Mile Run in Washington DC - October 5th, 2008
For several years now, every October Collin, many soldiers and friends from his unit in the
MD National Guard have participated in the Army-Ten-Miler.
CPT Crumpler, LT Keene and MSG Lowe told us that this year they will be running for Collin!
Wednesday, February 20th
Go to January Updates >
Tuesday, February 26th
Wednesday, March 12th
has been fighting very hard today. However, his body is not responding
to the treatments for the last several hours. We will be by his side
all night. Thank you for your support and please keep him in your
Wednesday, March 12th
Collin had a follow up surgery today and he tolerated it well. There will be a few more surgeries on his abdomen.
continues fighting and showing us his strength. The medical staff at
Brooke Army Medical Center provides an amazing level of care. However,
they don't just care about the medical part. They are also
compassionate, kind and very supportive during this time of emotional
struggle for our family. Thank you so much.
This is a difficult but very important week in Collin's journey to recovery. Thank you for your prayers and continued support.
Tuesday, March 11th
had a last minute surgery last night to try to correct some problems
found in his abdomen. This type of surgery has a very high risk in burn
patients. However, doctors said that the benefits outweigh the risks.
tolerated the surgery well. The following hours and days will be
critical for his recovery and in determining the success of the
Monday, March 10th
Collin receives continuous care and support as we wait for him to become stable again.
Sunday, March 9th
On Friday March 14th, a mass will be said for Collin's health. Angela Silva, Ursula's friend from high school, and her family are inviting everyone in Bogota to attend. For more information, please see the section Español.
Thank you so much to all of Ursula's high school friends who have been in continuous contact with her to provide their support.
Friday, March 7th
Collin is receiving some ventilatory support and several medicines to help him
go through some of the issues he is dealing with now.
He didn't respond to the doctors requests all day. However, when I went to
visit him on Thursday evening, I got as close as I could and I said "mi
vida, can you stick your tongue out for me? Just do it once so I can
tell the doctors you did it." Can you guess what he did next? Yes!
He stuck his tongue out! The nurse was close enough to us to see it,
and the doctor was static to hear the news.
Thank you for your support!
Thursday, March 6th
went through different procedures during the last two days to ensure
all issues are being covered. The most important thing right now is
that even though there will always be some steps back, his overall
condition has improved.
Last weekend Collin's "Compadre"
(Gabriela's Godfather) Pablo and his friend Vladimir brought Gabriela
to San Antonio and visited Collin. Pablo and Collin have been buddies
since they met each other the winter of 2002 while they were shoveling
snow after a big blizzard. Our backyards became the place to cookout
as soon as the weather would allow it. These friends have shared many
fajitas - and beers - but most of all, a strong friendship.
and his wife Tiffany have always been a big support to me - Ursula -
and Gabriela during Collin's deployments. Last year they made sure we
wouldn't spent Christmas and New Year by ourselves. They redecorated
their guest room just so that Gabriela and I would be comfortable
spending the night there. They showered us with presents and love. Both
nights ended with Collin's call from Afghanistan to let his friends
know how grateful we were for their friendship and support.
Yesterday, Aunt Liz and Steve arrived from Indiana to visit Collin. CPT Boyd who deployed to Afghanistan with Collin, also visited him today.
Sunday, March 2nd
Today, 2 months after the attack, Collin continues his path towards recovery.
Flemming, Collin's friend since they enlisted in the Army 20 years ago,
visited him this weekend. Jason and his wife Sherie, who also was in
the Army for 22 years, spent a few days with us.
amazing to see Collin responding to his friend just after surgery.
Generally, after an operation, Collin spends a few days in what it
seems a deep sleep. However, when Jason stared to talk to Collin and
joke about stuff they used to do, Collin smiled at his friend at least
three times right after he would make a funny comment or remind him
about something they did in the past.
Thank you Jason and Sheri for coming and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Also thanks to Aunt Marsha, Dean and Scott who spent the week with Collin's mom.
Thursday, February 28th
had one more surgery today to continue covering his wounds. He is
currently recovering, and even though he is still a little unstable, he
seems to be taking steps in the right direction.
We'll keep you updated.
had eye surgery today. He was in the OR for about 10 hours. Doctors
worked on the right eye, which is the one that sustained the most
serious injury. The final results of this intervention won't be clear
for some time, as Collin will need to participate in the assessment of
Collin did well with the anesthesia and now is resting and recovering satisfactorily.
Thank you everyone for your prayers and good wishes.
Monday, February 25th
Saturday, February 23rd
Marsha, uncle Dean and cousin Scott arrived. Today Collin was more
responsive, and at about 9:30pm he acknowledge the presence of uncle
Dean by nodding his head.
A few minutes later he stared to
pronounce a two word sentence over an over again, but we couldn't
figure out what he was trying to say. The nurse came into the room and
asked him if he was in pain, to which he replied by forcefully moving
his shoulders up and down, and trying to raise his right hand so hard
that it seemed he was going to rip the band that was holding his arm to
the armrest. He seemed frustrated, but we were glad to see he has
enough energy to display his emotions. He later calmed down.
earlier during the night visit, I brought a cassette player with
Gabriela's voice saying "I love you daddy, te amo papá, get well
soon". Once Collin started hearing his little girl's voice he tried to
smile three times and moved his eyes repeatedly. I don't know how to
explain his smile... it was a kind of sad one... The way you smile when
you're thinking of someone you love very much and miss so much it
had some complications breathing on his own, so he went back in the
ventilator. Right now he is stable and doctors are keeping an eye on
him to make sure everything goes back to normal.
came to visit today. He presented to Collin's wife and family all of
the medals he had been awarded prior the incident, including the Bronze
The medals will be displayed soon, check back often
Thursday, February 21st
Good night kiss
Collin continues recovering well from yesterday's surgery.
Tonight, I -Ursula-
was getting ready to leave after the night visit. So, I got
closer to Collin's face and said “mi amor, good night” and I blew
him a few kisses. Then I asked, can you blow me a kiss? And to my
amazement, he contracted his lips to blow a kiss!!! It was a slow
but strong motion. Then he repeated it two more times! My first
good night kiss in months! Thank you mi amor!
had one more surgery today to continue covering his wounds. He spent a
few hours in the OR, and now he's recovering satisfactorily.
Arms, who served with Collin in Afghanistan, flew in today from the MD
eastern shore to visit Collin. Thank you very much for your
Tuesday, February 19th
Collin remained stable all day and was responsive in a few occasions.
Sunday, February 17thSGM Endsley and Mrs. Endsley came today and pampered us again with a delicious homemade meal. Spaghetti pie and chocolate cake. Thank you for bringing a little taste of home back. Collin spent all day resting and somehow unresponsive. However, by 8pm he was moving on command which made us smile once again. Thank you for your prayers.
|Saturday, February 16th
last week's surgery recovery continues well. After a few days of
unresponsiveness, yesterday Collin first wiggled his toes after I asked
him. Seeing him moving on command again made me jump up and
down! Then he started raising his hand, and as I held it he
would gently relax it on top of mine. In evening his dad got to
experience the same wonderful connection. Later that night, he
was moving a lot. So, some medicine was administered, and he stared to
and Gayle -The Quilt Lady- came to visit today. They brought their love
and caring, as well as 24 CD's full of music for Collin, and this flag
from the Patriot Guard Riders signed by 150 rireds.
very familiar with communities of riders. Collin always liked bikes,
but we never talked much about it. Last year, all the sudden,
Collin calls me one day from Afghanistan and tells me... You know,
Harley-Davidson has a great deal on bikes for soldiers in Active Duty
overseas. I asked, "well, are they any bikes where you can install a
child seat on and I also fit?" As you can imagine, he answered,
"no, goofy". So I replied, "ok, I guess we're going to have to
wait for some years until the baby grows up". I really just
wanted him to come back home safe and sound, and try to keep him away
from any activity that seemed dangerous... I never thought or
really knew of your support to our troops. Patriot Guard Riders, Thank
you for your support!
Thusday, February 14th - Happy Valentines Day!We
may soon hear Collin's first words! Yesterday, doctors changed
Collin's tracheostomy valve for a speaking valve. It just means that
when he's ready, the valve can be closed and the air will go through
his vocal cords allowing him to speak! We look forward to that
moment and let you know right away.
Wednesday, February 13thCollin remained stable all day, and started to respond on command more to the nurses.
Tuesday, February 12th
Collin's surgery went well and he is recovering right now. He
continuous to breath on his own. We expect him to become stable
throughout the night.
Collin will go once again to the OR.
Doctors need to make sure all his wounds are covered, so they will
retouch any places where the grafts may not be taken. Even though
I could call this a "routine" surgery, it carries all the risks of any
surgery. However, we are excited to know that Collin's wounds are
almost all covered, and that this will take him much closer to recovery.
Aunt Lynn, uncle Gary, aunt Trish, his dad and I got to see him right
before surgery. Lynn and Gary are now going back to Indiana. It was
very nice to meet you. Thank you for enduring a 20 hour drive.
Please be safe, and I hope to see you soon again.
Robin Crumpler arrived on Sunday, and LT Chris Keene and MSG Jeff Lowe
on Monday. They deployed with Collin in the same team, and worked
together in Afghanistan for several months. Seeing Collin for the
first time is generally very emotional for everyone. However, I
know that hearing his friend’s voices and words of strength give Collin
the extra push to keep going. This is just another mission, and
his comrades are going to make sure they all finish it.
Chris and Jeff told me great stories about their time together; the
stress, the good missions, the disagreements among them, the thoughts
that go through the mind of husbands and boyfriends while they’re
separated from the significant one… It’s been so nice to
have them here, and remember those times before deployment when Collin
and I would hang around with them, generally in “Tuesday Nights”.
every Tuesday night a lot of the guys would meet to play basketball at
the armory. Many of those days, Collin was in charge, so we would go to
the wholesale store and buy Gatorade, sodas, hot dogs, buns and
chips. Then, they would spend the night playing basketball and
having a beer. Those of us who didn’t play, watched a movie or simply
talked. After Gabriela was born, she also became part of Tuesday
nights. Everyone just would carry her around, and she loved it!
to Robin, Chris and Jeff about those days brought this warm and
familiar feeling that I can’t describe. It was like for a moment,
I was back at the armory and waiting to see Collin come through the
door all sweaty and asking for a beer to cool down after the game.
Thank you for coming, thank you for the strength you provide to Collin, and for the wonderful memories you brought with you.
Left to right: (Back) MSG Lowe, SFC Thompson, MAJ Donahue.
(Front) SSG Bowen, 1LT Crumpler, LT Keene.
Saturday, February 9thCollin
had a great day. Not only was he breathing on his own, but the
oxygen level he needed was low. They may give him a break over
night and put him back on the ventilator for a while. Collin has
been off the dialysis machine for more than three days now. That's two
days longer than the doctors expected. They are putting him back
now, as his renal function needs some help. Overall, he's had a very good week. Thank you for your prayers!
Friday, February 8th
had another good day. He was breathing on his own most of the
day, and all his vitals were strong and stable. The temperature
of his room was lowered as he's being able to control his temperature
better. Tomorrow they may take him off the ventilator and only
provide oxygen. It will be just a trial to see how he does. He
hasn't needed to go back on dialysis either!
Thursday, February 7th
Today Collin was stable. He responded to his mother, brother and wife shortly but several times. DoctorsTuesday and Wednesday, Brian Hill and Charlie Wardle, Navy Corpsmen, who served with Collin in Afghanistan visited Collin. Charlie flew in from Colorado, and Brian flew in from Chicago to Madill Oklahoma, picked up his father and both drove to San Antonio.
always caution us by reminding us that Collin still is far from where
he should be, and that the road ahead is very long. However, his healing is going in the positive direction right now.
Mr. Hill is the Cumberland Baptist Church Pastor and his
entire congregation have been praying for Collin. Thank you very much for your visit and your prayers.
Wednesday, February 6th
was taken off the dialysis machine, and his ventilator was changed for
one less aggressive. Even with these changes he was pretty stable all
day. At night, Collin mouthed to Ursula "I love you" several
Tuesday, February 5th
continued to be stable throughout the night. Doctors decided to take
Collin to the OR this morning to complete the grafting of his left leg,
and to retouch some other areas as needed. Please also check "Justin's Corner" to read about a special moment between Collin and Ursula.
She said: "under different circumstances I wouldn't be sharing this,
but I can't keep it to myself, as it says a lot about his
condition. Anyway, everyone who knew us, saw us kissing and
hugging all the time".
Monday, February 4th
has spent a couple of days of deep rest and sedation. He's still
in several antibiotics and the dialysis machine. Nurses report
that most of his grafts seem to be taking and healing pretty
well. Collin's lungs seem to be also healing even though he still
has pneumonia. The tube feeding was restarted at a very low rate and he
is tolerating it.
Saturday, February 2nn
It's been a month since the attack.
Collin remained in what it seemed a deep state of sedation. Now
we rest assured that we don't need to wonder so much if he's in pain
and cannot say it. Yesterday we realized that if he's in pain, we will
be able to tell very easily. The head anesthesiologist met with the
family and provided a very detailed explanation regarding the blood
pressure and sugar drop. We now pray so that he can become stable
again. Please read Justin's Corner for more information.
Friday, February 1st
| Collin's sugar was back to normal today. However, he a had big drop in blood
pressure. The nurse wanted to make sure he would keep Collin as
painless as possible, but Collin didn't tolerate the dose. The medical
personnel had to counteract the effect of the pain medicine for a while, so Collin
laid in pain for several hours. Even though it was very difficult to
see him in pain, it allowed us to see that he is very much inside those
bandages and strong to fight. He moved his arms and Mom and Ursula each
held a hand. If they wanted to let go, Collin would start reaching for them again.
By the evening, the pain seemed to be controlled and Collin
seemed to be resting peacefully.
The highlight of the weekend is the arrival of SFC Thompson, Collin's long time friend and who just came back from Afghanistan. Please click here to read Justin's Corner and find odut about the very meaningful SFC Thompson's visit.
Collin & Chuck in Kansas a couple of days before leaving
for Afghanistan in January 2007.
© C&U Bowen